Commercial Curiosity – ROI from Networking?

January 8, 2024
by Charlie Whyman

Do you consider networking or speaking to other people about what you do a marketing activity?

How often do you review how you describe what you do and optimise it to get more customers and referrals from your networking activities?

I work with companies that think they do no marketing whatsoever and companies that spend hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of pounds on marketing and the content in this email will be useful to everyone

First off, let’s get one thing straight…

✅ Networking is marketing

✅ Every time you explain what you do to someone else – that’s marketing

and all marketing activities have opportunities for improvement 🚀


🦦 Question of the Week

How are your networking activities improving your revenue, profit and impact in your business?


🧠 Why this question is important

We all joke about the accountants that go to networking events and respond with ‘I’m just an accountant’ every time they are asked what they do.

But let’s be honest – how much better is your response?

Marketing is all about being memorable so that someone can recall what you can do for them at the time they need to remember you.

Either at the point they need to find out more about your products and services OR if they are speaking to someone else that needs you.

If the people you speak to about what you do can’t remember what you said after the event you’ve not done your job properly.

Yes, networking is all about relationship building but if the people you’re building relationships with don’t know what you can do for them or the people they know then you’re missing opportunities.

We all network – ALL THE TIME, not just at specific networking events, conferences, trade shows, client meetings and presentations so it’s worth investing time in crafting an effective response and optimising it as you go.

In addition to crafting your ‘what do you do response’ you need to have a system in place to:

  • keep track of the the people you’re speaking to – you can do this on LinkedIn, in a CRM system or even on a spreadsheet

  • capture the source of a lead or enquiry so you can track it back to a networking situation

  • follow-up with the people you’re speaking to in order to trigger their memory – this can also be done using LinkedIn, phone, direct email, email marketing, other social media as well as seeing these people at future events


⚙️ How to implement

It might seem obvious but the first step is to craft your pitch and be curious about what your customers care about not what you want to say to them. Try this approach:

1️⃣ What problems do your customers have that they talk about a lot?

2️⃣ What has one of your customers said about you or your company recently that another customer would be interested to know? OR

3️⃣ What have you done recently that would make a future customer want to know more about?

For example instead of me saying:

I’m a sales and marketing speaker, trainer and coach

I can say:

You know how a lot of people claim to be ‘allergic’ to sales & marketing activities? Well I teach them a really simple way of doing it that’s both fun AND increases profit and impact in the business. One person recently said they learned more from a 45 minute session with me than they did in any of their marketing modules from their MBA….

I will make the people bit more specific depending on who i’m speaking to so i’d say engineers, scientists or even people without a marketing background.

One of my favourite quotes is: ‘what get’s scheduled get’s done’

So plan time in your diary to work on your response and also to capture and follow-up with the people you speak to.

Don’t leave it to change or when you have time – you’ll never have time unless you make the time so stick it in your diary and make it happen.


🥷🏻 Ninja Tip

If you use LinkedIn to follow-up with people you meet and speak to, add a specific keyword into your direct message to that person so that you can always track back the relationship to the place you met.

You can also use that keyword to search for conversations relating to a specific event in your LinkedIn inbox.

I went to a networking event last week at the Derby Velodrome so I write ‘Great to have met you or seen you at the Velodrome’ in my messages so I have this memory trigger and search feature.

Do you want to increase your sales, profit & impact?

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